Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Art

First Advisor

Pamela Nickels

Second Advisor

Joan Schmeckebier

Third Advisor

Ann Winkelmann


The purpose of this study was to examine responses on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) between depressed women with a self-reported history of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) and depressed women who did not report such a history. The question to be studied was whether the responses on the BDI would generally be the same regardless of the client's abuse history. Forty women seeking treatment for depression at a Midwestern counseling center served as subjects for this study. They completed a self-report questionnaire, which included an item on abuse history, and the BDI. The group reporting a history of CSA had a higher total mean score on the BDI. Results of a chi-square analysis on each of the 21 items on the BDI showed that a relationship exists between abuse history and two of the symptoms measured on the BDI: Body Image Distortion and Sense of Failure.